As reported in the Star Tribune, students from a group called “Whose Diversity?” staged a protest claiming that “crime alerts that include race reinforce stereotypes of black men as threats and create a hostile campus climate.”
But what if the thief or rapist or thug were black? Wouldn’t that information be helpful? If the bad guy were white, wouldn’t knowing that be helpful?
From now on, the bulletins triggered by serious crimes like robbery and aggravated assault will only include the suspect’s description “when there is sufficient detail that would help identify a specific individual or group,” U vice president Pamela Wheelock said Wednesday in an email to students, faculty and staff.
“For some, knowing they have all the information available about a crime, including the complete suspect description, makes them feel better informed and increases how safe they feel,” university vice president Pamela Wheelock said. “But others – particularly Black men – have shared that suspect descriptions negatively impact their sense of safety. They express concern that Crime Alerts that include race reinforce stereotypes of Black men as threats and create a hostile campus climate.”
The local sheriff from the area, David Clarke, disagrees with this proposal:
So what do you think? Is it racist to include racial information in a suspect description? If it’s left out, does it help or hinder the identification of those at fault? I’m not sure about you, but it sure seems like common sense has completely stopped existing in certain parts of the country!